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Sunday’s NBA playoffs: Nuggets' Murray outduels Mitchell, sets up first Game 7 in bubble

Brian Mahoney
Associated Press

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — The Jamal Murray-Donovan Mitchell duel will be settled in the first Game 7 in the bubble.

Murray extended his torrid run with 50 more points, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 119-107 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.

Murray had his second 50-point game of the series to equal Mitchell, who finished with 44 in this one. No player has ever had more in an entire postseason.

Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray reacts after making a 3-pointer against the Utah Jazz during the second half Sunday.

They will go at it one more time Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to face the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers finished off the Dallas Mavericks in six games on the same court a few hours earlier.

Denver is trying to become the 12th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a series and the first since 2016, when the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the only one of those comebacks that came in the NBA Finals.

The Nuggets won the opener, but the Jazz won the next three games and were in good shape to finish it in Game 5, holding a 15-point lead in the third quarter.

Murray led the charge back in that game, finishing with 42 points, and then was a sizzling 17 of 24 in Game 6, going 9 for 12 behind the 3-point arc.

Mitchell also hit nine 3-pointers and increased what was the NBA’s top-scoring average in these playoffs at 37.6 points per game.

In the fourth quarter alone, Murray outscored Mitchell 21-17, helping prevent the Jazz from ever getting close enough to have a real chance of finishing the series.

Murray had a little more help, with Nikola Jokic scoring 22 points and Jerami Grant adding 18.

Mike Conley had 21 points for the Jazz, but Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson were each only held to 11.

A seventh game between the third-seeded Nuggets and No. 6 Jazz seems fitting. Though Denver won all three meetings during the regular season, the total margin was just 11 points.

The Jazz came into the day topping all teams in the postseason in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, and ranking third in scoring with 121.8 points per game. And they looked early as if they would eclipse all those numbers.

The Nuggets started 5 of 6 but were just trying to keep up as the Jazz hit their first seven shots. Conley made a 3-pointer from the corner while falling down to beat the shot clock and then later banked in one, keeping Utah rolling even on the possessions when Denver defended well.

But the Jazz left plenty of points on the board by going 3 for 9 on free throws, so their lead was only six. Murray then heated up on his way to a 14-point second quarter and Utah shot just 4 for 16 as the Nuggets surged to a 10-point advantage before taking a 61-56 lead to the locker room.

More NBA playoffs

Boston 112, Toronto 94: Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, Kemba Walker added 18 points and 10 assists and Boston beat Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Celtics improved to 4-1 against the Raptors this season – no other team has beaten the reigning NBA champions more than twice – and both of their meetings in the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World have been one-sided. The Raptors are 11-0 at Disney against everybody else.

Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and Daniel Theis had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Boston, 5-0 in the postseason.

Kyle Lowry had 17 points for defending champion Toronto.

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers' Marcus Morris Sr. during the first half.

L.A. Clippers 111, Dallas 97: Kawhi Leonard had 33 points and 14 rebounds and Los Angeles eliminated Luka Doncic and Dallas from the playoffs in Game 6 of the first-round series.

Doncic capped a superb first postseason with 38 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, keeping it interesting into the fourth quarter even while playing without injured teammate Kristaps Porzingis.

But with Leonard reaching the 30-point mark for his career-best fifth straight playoff game and a strong defensive effort, the Clippers simply had too many answers.

The No. 2 seed in the Western Conference advanced to a second-round meeting with either Denver or Utah. The sixth-seeded Jazz were trying to close that series out in six games later Sunday.

Paul George and Ivica Zubac added 15 points apiece for the Clippers, who turned up their defense in this one after winning Game 5 with the best offensive performance in their postseason.

Leonard also had seven assists and five steals. The Clippers said he was the first player in at least the last 20 postseasons with 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game.

First round

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Milwaukee 4, Orlando 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Orlando, 122, Milwaukee 110

Thursday, Aug. 20: Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96

Saturday, Aug. 22: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 107

Monday, Aug. 24: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 106

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Orlando vs. Milwaukee, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: Milwaukee 118, Orlando 104

Toronto 4, Brooklyn 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Toronto 134, Brooklyn 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Toronto 104, Brooklyn 99

Friday, Aug. 21: Toronto 117, Brooklyn 92

Sunday, Aug. 23: Toronto 150, Brooklyn 122

Boston 4, Philadelphia 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Boston 109, Philadelphia 101

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Boston 128, Philadelphia 101

Friday, Aug. 21: Boston 102, Philadelphia 94

Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston 110, Philadelphia 106

Miami 4, Indiana 0

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Miami 113 Indiana 101

Thursday, Aug. 20: Miami 109, Indiana 100

Saturday, Aug. 22: Miami 124, Indiana 115

Monday, Aug. 24: Miami 99, Indiana 87

WESTERN CONFERENCE

L.A. Lakers 4, Portland 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Portland 100, L.A. Lakers 93

Thursday, Aug. 20: L.A. Laker 111, Portland 88

Saturday, Aug. 22: L.A. Lakers 116, Portland 108

Monday, Aug. 24: L.A. Lakers 135 Portland 115

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Portland vs. L.A. Lakers, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: L.A. Lakers 131, Portland 122

L.A. Clippers 4, Dallas 2

Monday, Aug. 17: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Dallas 127, L.A. Clippers 114

Friday, Aug. 21: L.A. Clippers 130, Dallas 122

Sunday, Aug. 23: Dallas 135, L.A. Clippers 133, OT

Tuesday, Aug. 25: L.A. Clippers 154, Dallas 111

Sunday, Aug. 30: L.A. Clippers 111, Dallas 97

Utah 3, Denver 3

Monday, Aug. 17: Denver 135, Utah 125, OT

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Utah 124, Denver 105

Friday, Aug. 21: Utah 124, Denver 87

Sunday, Aug. 23: Utah 129, Denver 127

Tuesday, Aug. 25: Denver 117, Utah 107

Thursday, Aug. 27: Denver vs Utah, ppd.

Sunday, Aug. 30: Denver 119, Utah 107

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Denver vs. Utah, 8:30 p.m.

Houston 3, Oklahoma City 2

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108

Thursday, Aug. 20: Houston 112, Oklahoma City 98

Saturday, Aug. 22: Oklahoma City 119, Houston 107, OT

Monday, Aug. 24: Oklahoma City 117, Houston 114

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, ppd.

Saturday, Aug. 29: Houston 114, Oklahoma City 80

Monday, Aug. 31: Houston vs. Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Sept. 2: Houston vs. Oklahoma City, TBD

Conference semifinals

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Milwaukee vs. Miami

Monday, Aug. 31: Miami vs. Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Miami vs. Milwaukee, TBD

Friday, Sept. 4: Milwaukee vs. Miami, TBD

Sunday, Sept. 6: Milwaukee vs. Miami, TBD

x-Tuesday, Sept. 8: Miami vs. Milwaukee, TBD

x-Thursday, Sept. 10: Milwaukee vs. Miami, TBD

x-Saturday, Sept. 12: Miami vs. Milwaukee, TBD

Boston 1, Toronto 0

Sunday, Aug. 30: Boston 112, Toronto 94

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Boston vs. Toronto, TBD

Thursday, Sept. 3: Toronto vs. Boston, TBD

Saturday, Sept. 5: Toronto vs. Boston, TDB

x-Monday, Sept. 7: Boston vs. Toronto, TBD

x-Wednesday, Sept. 9: Toronto vs. Boston, TBD

x-Friday, Sept. 11: Boston vs. Toronto, TBD

x-If necessary